Pandemic Pondering #436

Mornings here are very bright this week.

In some exciting news, a sign of loosening of Pandemic Restrictions I’ve just booked a Cheap Day Return ticket to go to a party in the City of London with old work colleagues. Home again by 5:15 in the morning , exactly like old times. The relevance of this to Pandemic Pondering is that the last time I saw any of this group of people was Pandemic Pondering # -24 . A blog that didnt exist but possibly should have. We had a wonderful weekend seeing friends and family. @theoldmortuary had what was assumed to be a very nasty cold and was a bit under the weather. There are very few photographs of the weekend.

This typewriter is the only interesting picture. I love old typewriters.

The rest of my pictures are really interesting to me but hardly represent the usual pictures of London.

Fanny, one of the famous London ‘ Station Cats’

Then another Gipsy Hill Blue Plaque.

Annie Besant swapped Gipsy Hill for India and California. I walked Hugo and Lola past her house every day before work. Gipsy Hill not California, sadly.

Annie Besant was a British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator, educationist, and philanthropist. Regarded as a champion of human freedom, she was an ardent supporter of both Irish and Indian self-rule. She was a prolific author with over three hundred books and pamphlets to her credit. © Wikipedia

Annie Besant https://g.co/kgs/FN1G5h

She founded what is now known as The Besant Hill School of Happy Valley. Kaffe Fassett was educated there, his autobiography lives in my colour theory book pile.

One last underwhelming image of London is this street sign.

Time for another googling moment dear readers. Orinoco is not only a river but a Womble who cares for Wimbledon common.

The Wombles https://g.co/kgs/ojkBNK

Orinoco Womble © eBay

A pre pandemic pondering ponder on the strange links of life. Inspired by a train ticket.

Libraries and bookshops, journeys to somewhere else.

Saltash Library

All my reading life I’ve loved libraries, as I got older bookshops took over because library opening hours are not always convenient for working people. We always visit libraries whenever we travel to cities. Birmingham and Seoul stand out as two of the best. Yesterday I was in our local library doing some admin for a book group. Not planning to get anything for myself I had a quick wander around in case something irresistible caught my eye. Two books leapt out at me, not because they would take me on new journeys but because they reminded me of journeys already taken.

Alan Johnson’s In My Life will be the second Alan Johnson book I’ve read. The first one The Long and Winding Road was the third book of his memoirs. I have yet to read the first two parts. The Long and Winding Road was significant to me because during the period it covered we were neighbours, not close, but some of his roads were my roads and when his days of secure chauffeur driven cars were over we shared our regular commute into Victoria or London Bridge. Obviously like proper London commuters we never made eye contact.

Looking down Gipsy Hill

© theoldmortuary

Alan Johnson is not the only recognisable face seen on the platforms of Gipsy Hill Station.

One stands out as the ‘ most’ famous. Fanny, the Gipsy Hill Cat. Famous throughout London for her duty of care to the commuters of South London. She has her own station waiting room.

and is nearly always on hand for cuddles or ticket checking.

Spiri Tsintziras book Afternoons in Itheka is the second book that grabbed me and is the second based in Itheka that I have read.The first was North of Ithaka by Eleni Gage, a book that fueled a trip to Itheka last summer.

The trip to Ithaka was serendipitous and wonderful. It is such a peaceful island.

We had a huge rustic supper in a general store and occasional cafe.

Some of the artwork was surprising.

The food was everything you would expect of Greek hospitality. Comforting, delicious and never ending.

Reading is my favourite pastime, it gives me time and location travel. Sometimes backwards like these two books but often projecting me forward to adventures as yet unknown.

Abundance #everyday inspiration

IMG_5393Crystal Palace is the town that gives . A bustling Triangle  of loveliness, somehow defying all the preconceptions of London, it has a community feel that any small rural town would be proud of. Crowd funding to repair the station cat following a road accident is one example of the abundance of community care that just pops up in this south London gem, or the gentle cuddling of a small,lost, fox cub by a commuter prepared to wait until rescue arrived.